The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay
, British Columbia
, located near Victoria
Island. The gardens receive more than a million visitors each year. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to their international renown.
Robert Pim Butchart (1856–1943) began manufacturing Portland cement in 1888 near his birthplace of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Jennie Butchart (1866–1950) came to the west coast of Canada because of rich limestone deposits necessary for cement production.
In the early days, weekly symphony concerts were hosted by Mr and Mrs. Butchart. These were often held for guests of the family, but later attracted a larger audience. More recently, in the Summer Season (July and August) and during the Winter Holiday Season they provide a wide range of local entertainment, from Jazz to classical music. Also, The Weeds, a band made up of staff members from The Gardens, sometimes plays during the Summer Season. In 1977, Ian Ross's son Christopher (1944–2000) introduced firework shows accompanied by show tunes on summer Saturday evenings. During the Winter, lights and seasonal decorations adorn the gardens along with an ice-skating rink in the Waterwheel Square.